Even if Bush doesn’t pull Osama bin Laden‘s head out of a basket on the eve of the election and even if the red-alert sirens don’t blare continuously on Halloween, there’s bound to be an “October surprise.”
It may come in the mundane form of cleverly manipulated economic figures. A recent report from the liberal Center on Budget Policies and Priorities contends that the White House–controlled Office of Management and Budget, run by Bush lackey Josh Bolten, projected in late July that the fiscal year 2004 federal deficit will total $445 billion. But only three days later, the U.S. Treasury Department indicated that deficit is likely to be nearly $30 billion less.
The real figure is likely to be in the $420 billion range, says the liberal think tank.
The White House is scheduled to release the actual deficit figure in late October, just before the presidential vote. And of course, it’s likely to come up with a figure in the $420 range—and the Bush regime will compare that figure to previous “forecasts” and declare that the economy is “improving.”
No doubt the White House will throw in the OMB’s February forecast of a $521 billion deficit. (Read that three-page piece of propaganda here.) And newspaper headlines will declare that the economy is getting better—certainly compared with the February figures.
Number-crunching is nothing new. You’ll recall that Halliburton was heavily fined by the SEC for curiously misstated filings it sent in while Dick Cheney was its CEO. (To refresh your memory, also read this.)
So when you’re bombarded with numbers this fall, you’ll survive it, right?